Seattle Course #18 Using Executive Function Assessment to Drive Social Interventions

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Thursday- March 8, 2018      8:00am-4:00pm

Course #18 -Using Executive Function Assessment to Drive Social Interventions

by Chris M. Abildgaard, NCSP, LPC, NCC, The Social Learning Center, Cheshire, CT

About the Speaker

Chris Abildgaard NCSP, LPC, NCC has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since 1999. He is the owner and director of the Social Learning Center, LLC located in Cheshire, CT. Chris also holds a clinical appointment at the Southfield Center located in Darien, CT and an appointment at the Benhaven Academy located in Wallingford, CT as their School Psychologist. Chris is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist , a Nationally Certified Counselor & a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In addition to a master’s and 6th year degree in school psychology, Chris has earned a Graduate Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Behavioral Interventions in Autism. Since 2008, Chris has presented in eight different states at conventions such as the Autism Society of America and American Counseling Association national conferences, and through the state of Connecticut on topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorders, social cognitive development, executive functioning and counseling techniques used when working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Disclosures: Financial-Chris is employed by the Social Learning Center in Cheshire, CT and he receives speaker/consultation fees. There are no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Target Audience (who should attend):  

School Psychologists, School Counselors, Speech-Language Pathologists, Social Workers, Principals/Administrators

Target Age Range: 2nd Grade through 21 Years

Course Description:  For individuals with various neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADD/ADHD, Social Communication Disorders, Specific Learning Disorders, etc.) the idea of “keeping it together” through the school day is extremely daunting. Many of the students we work with struggle when it comes to written expression, reading comprehension and developing social connections. Many students are told to “stop it” and “you should know….” or “you just did this yesterday!”. How will students struggling with social cognitive deficits make it in the real world? As a result of this reality, more and more families and individuals on the Autism Spectrum and those with other NDDs are seeking support and an understanding as to what is behind many of these social, cognitive and academic barriers. This course is intended to expand the competencies of school staff working with individuals struggling with various social cognitive deficits. This course will explore how one’s executive functioning impacts the academic, social and emotional aspects of their life. An emphasis will be placed on uncovering one’s individual strengths to help improve those areas of deficit. This seminar will highlight assessment instruments used when examining one’s executive functioning and ways to use data gathered to help support one’s executive function as it relates to social cognition. The term “social executive functioning” will be explored and better defined and interventions to help a student with aspects of cognitive shifting, inhibition and self-monitoring (to name a few) will all be explored.

 What You Will Learn

Course Objectives– Participants will be able to:

• Evaluate current thinking in executive function and the impact it has on life

• Analyze various assessment techniques used in measuring one’s executive function

• Assess educational and clinical tools for improving rigid thinking and one’s inhibitions

• Identify useful techniques to improve social connections through increasing one’s initiation and self-monitoring

• Explore differences in emotional regulation and recognition and how this is impacted by one’s executive function

• Evaluate various ways of monitoring improvement in one’s executive function as it pertains to both academic and social progress